Executives at both Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., among other companies, have held low-level talks with those at Twitter Inc. in recent months to explore the prospect of an acquisition of the messaging service, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks have so far gone nowhere, these people say.I would take the cash.
But what's remarkable is the money that people familiar with the matter say frames the discussions with at least some potential suitors: an estimated valuation in the neighborhood of $8 billion to $10 billion.
Seriously, I understand why Google is willing to overpay for a company to gain a strong brand and advantage in the marketplace, particularly given its own faltering efforts to enter social networking, and I understand why Facebook would want to keep a significant potential competitor out of Google's hands, but until the Facebook IPO occurs its stock value is every bit as speculative as Twitter's - and it's very complicated to sell, even assuming that the terms of the sale don't require Twitter's investors to sit on the stock until after an IPO. So I would be grateful to Facebook for forcing Google into a bidding war, would sell to Google and, as they say, "Take the money and run."
Despite the high valuations, Twitter's executives and board are continuing to work on building a large, independent company. People familiar with the situation said the company believes it can grow into a $100 billion company.Because you would expect them to be saying, "We hope we find a sucker to buy this place for vastly more than it's worth before it goes belly up?" Hey, guys, I think my company can grow into a $100 billion company as well. I'll let it go for a mere... let's say $5 billion. A bargain.